1506.32 Application for salvage permit for submerged watercraft or aircraft.

(A) Except as otherwise provided in division (B) of this section, any person who wishes to recover, alter, salvage, or destroy any abandoned property that is located on, in, or in the immediate vicinity of and associated with a submerged watercraft or aircraft in Lake Erie shall obtain a permit to do so from the director of natural resources that also has been approved by the director of the Ohio historical society. A permit shall authorize the operation on, in, or in the immediate vicinity of and associated with only the submerged watercraft or aircraft named in the permit and shall expire one year after its date of issuance. To apply for a permit, a person shall file an application on a form prescribed by the director of natural resources that contains all of the following information:

(1) The name and address of the applicant;

(2) The name, if known, of the watercraft or aircraft on, in, or around which the operation is proposed and a current photograph or drawing of the watercraft or aircraft, if available;

(3) The location of the abandoned property to be recovered, altered, salvaged, or destroyed and the depth of water in which it may be found;

(4) A description of each item to be recovered, altered, salvaged, or destroyed;

(5) The method to be used in the operation;

(6) The proposed disposition of any abandoned property recovered, including the location at which it will be available for inspection by the director of the Ohio historical society for the purposes of division (C) of section 1506.33 of the Revised Code;

(7) Any other information that the director of natural resources or the director of the Ohio historical society considers necessary.

(B) A person may recover, alter, salvage, or destroy abandoned property from Lake Erie that is located outside a Lake Erie submerged lands preserve established under rules adopted under section 1506.31 of the Revised Code without obtaining a permit under this section if the abandoned property is not attached to or located on, in, or in the immediate vicinity of and associated with a submerged watercraft or aircraft and if the abandoned property is recoverable by hand without mechanical or other assistance.

(C) Immediately after receiving a permit application, the director of natural resources shall send a copy of it to the director of the Ohio historical society who shall review it for approval pursuant to division (D) of this section. If the director of natural resources determines that an application submitted under division (A) of this section is incomplete, he shall so notify the applicant in writing and shall specify the additional information that is needed. If the director of the Ohio historical society needs further information, he shall notify the director of natural resources, who shall notify the applicant in accordance with this division. The applicant may resubmit the application following receipt of the notice.

(D) The director of the Ohio historical society shall approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove an application. If he determines that the abandoned property to be recovered, altered, salvaged, or destroyed has historical value in itself or in conjunction with other abandoned property in its vicinity, he may conditionally approve or disapprove the application. If he conditionally approves an application, he may impose conditions on the permit in accordance with division (E) of this section. The director of the Ohio historical society shall notify the director of natural resources of his approval, conditional approval, or disapproval within fifty days after receiving the application. If the director of the Ohio historical society does not respond within fifty days as prescribed in this division, the application is deemed approved by him.

(E) The director of natural resources shall approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove an application. If he determines that the abandoned property to be recovered, altered, salvaged, or destroyed has substantial recreational, ecological, environmental, educational, scenic, or scientific value in itself or in conjunction with other abandoned property or resources in its vicinity or that the operation will not comply with any policies established or rules adopted under section 1506.31 of the Revised Code governing access to and use of the Lake Erie submerged lands preserve, if any, in which the operation is proposed, he may conditionally approve or disapprove the application.

(F) Not later than sixty days after a complete application is submitted under this section, the director of natural resources shall approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove the application. The director of natural resources shall not approve or conditionally approve an application until it has been approved or conditionally approved by the director of the Ohio historical society under division (D) of this section. If either director conditionally approves an application, he shall impose on the permit such conditions as he considers reasonable and necessary to protect the public trust and general interests, including conditions that provide any of the following:

(1) Protection and preservation of the abandoned property to be recovered and of any recreational value of the area in which the operation is proposed;

(2) Assurance of reasonable public access to the abandoned property after recovery;

(3) Conformity with any policies established or rules adopted under section 1506.31 of the Revised Code governing access to and use of the Lake Erie submerged lands preserve, if any, in which the operation is proposed;

(4) Prohibition of injury, harm, or damage to the applicable submerged lands or to abandoned property not authorized for recovery, alteration, salvage, or destruction during and after the proposed operation;

(5) Prohibition against the discharge of debris from the watercraft, aircraft, or salvage equipment or limitation of the amount of debris that may be so discharged;

(6) A requirement that the permit holder submit a specific plan for recovery, alteration, salvage, or destruction to the director of natural resources prior to commencing the operation. The plan may include a discussion of measures that will be taken to ensure the safety of individuals who will recover, alter, salvage, or destroy or assist in the recovery, alteration, salvage, or destruction of the abandoned property and to prevent, minimize, or mitigate potential adverse effects on any abandoned property that is to be recovered or salvaged, any abandoned property that is not to be recovered, altered, salvaged, or destroyed, and surrounding geographic features.

(G) A permit holder may renew the permit by making application to the director of natural resources at least sixty days before the expiration date of the permit. The director of natural resources shall not issue a permit to another person to recover, alter, salvage, or destroy abandoned property that is the subject of a permit for which a renewal is sought unless the director of natural resources or the director of the Ohio historical society disapproves the permit renewal. The director of natural resources or the director of the Ohio historical society may conditionally approve or disapprove a permit renewal application in accordance with division (D), (E), or (F) of this section or if the permit holder has not made reasonable progress in undertaking the operation authorized by the original permit.

(H) Any person may appeal to the director of natural resources a decision under this section approving, disapproving, or approving conditionally a permit application or renewal application in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.

(I) The director of natural resources shall not issue and the director of the Ohio historical society shall not approve a permit under this section to recover, alter, salvage, or destroy abandoned property from Lake Erie that is located within a Lake Erie submerged lands preserve established under any rules adopted under section 1506.31 of the Revised Code unless the operation is for historical or scientific purposes or will not adversely affect the historical, cultural, recreational, or ecological integrity of the preserve as a whole.

(J) The director of natural resources may adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code and establish and observe such policies regarding the public availability and use of applications submitted and permits issued under this section as will meet the legitimate requirements of the person who submits an application or to whom a permit is issued. Unless the director of natural resources determines that revealing the location of abandoned property to which a permit or permit or renewal application applies is necessary to protect the abandoned property or the public health, safety, and welfare, the director of natural resources and the director of the Ohio historical society shall keep confidential and shall not release to any person the location of such abandoned property:

(1) During the time the application or renewal application is being processed;

(2) During the term of the permit or a permit renewal;

(3) Except as provided in division (J)(4) of this section, for two years following the denial of a permit or renewal application;

(4) During the appeal of any denial of a permit or renewal application and for two years following the entry of any final order or judgment in the most recent appeal of the denial.

At the request of a permit holder, the director of natural resources may limit access to the site of abandoned property for which the permit was issued during the term of the permit.

(K) Except as provided in division (B) of this section, no person shall recover, alter, salvage, or destroy abandoned property in Lake Erie having a fair market value of one hundred dollars or more unless the person has a permit issued for that purpose under this section.

Effective Date: 03-02-1992